Why those annoying robocalls won't stop - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Why those annoying robocalls won't stop

by Brandon Richards

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Millions have signed up for the Do Not Call Registry and the new Telemarketing Sales Rule says telemarketers could be fined $16,000 if they don't get your permission before they call.

But despite the Do Not Call Registry and the new FTC ban, unwanted robocalls continue to be an annoying problem for many people.

So, why do the calls continue?

The answer lies in something called the E-Sign Act, or Electronic Signature Act. Under the current Do Not Call Registry, telemarketers must have someone's written permission to call. This can come in the form of the old-fashioned pen and paper or through an electronic signature.

But under the E-Sign Act, "any electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a contract...by a person with the intent to sign the record" shall also be considered an electronic signature. That means if a person clicks on a linkin an email, presses a button on the phone or orally says "yes" during a phone conversation with a telemarketer, they may have just given that telemarketer permission to contact them in the future because  each of these scenarios are considered electronic signatures.

The most common complaint the Lake Charles Better Business Bureau receives regarding robocalls is the extended car warranty messages many people receive. The message says you need to update your service warranty on your car before it's too late. The caller then leaves an 800 number for you to call.

To limit or stop robocalls, the BBB advices consumers to enroll in the No Call registry. It's not perfect, but it limits most telemarketing robocalls.

Consumers should also be careful of the websites they are visiting and be cautious about what material they click on.

And, before you enter into any agreement with a commercial business, always read the fine print. Often times, the company will state their intentions to call you in the future through telemarketing.

To see if a telemarketing company is legit, log on to www.bbb.org.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,  rewritten or redistributed.)

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